Charlie Schlenker

Assistant News Director

GLT Assistant News Director Charlie Schlenker grew up in Rock Island, Illinois and graduated from Augustana College. He has spent more than three decades in radio and has won numerous state and national awards for journalism. He lives in Normal with his family.

Staff / WGLT

The McLean Count State's Attorney's Office will not represent the County Clerk in the upcoming recount of the vote in the race for Mayor of Normal.

State's Attorney Jason Chambers said he has named a special prosecutor from the Appellate Prosecutor's Office to handle the job.

Miller Park Zoo / City of Bloomington

The Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington has replaced its Sumatran Tiger. The 10 year old male named Rojo comes from the Topeka Zoo.

The Zoo said Sumatran Tigers are a critically endangered species because of habitat destruction.

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

McLean County Sherriff Jon Sandage is banning cell phones in the Law and Justice Center starting in June.

Sandage said some people were violating policy against photos and recordings in court.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Governor Bruce Rauner indicates a key difference in competing school funding bills is a bargaining chip.

Rauner said Chicago Schools should be treated the same as other districts by the state. That came during a tour of the Beer Nuts factory in Bloomington as WGLT asked Rauner about Senator Jason Barickman's school funding formula bill.

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

Pretrial skirmishing among attorneys is important for any criminal trial.

It helps set the ground rules for the courtroom conflict between prosecution and defense.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth said progressives should not get their hopes up about a single payer healthcare insurance system.

Staff / WGLT

The United Way of McLean County is dramatically reducing support for human service agencies.

Staff / WGLT

Bloomington Police said a woman whose home was broken into shot the intruder.

The incident happened about 1:32 a.m. Friday. Officers say a home alarm went off from the garage in the 700 block of South Clayton.

March for Science.com

Increasing public doubt of scientific findings is prompting a March for Science in Bloomington-Normal.

ISU biologist Scott Sakaluk says he and other researchers feel alarm as laypeople treat science as opinion-based and political.

ISU Credit Rating Unchanged With An Asterisk

Apr 21, 2017
Staff / WGLT

Illinois State University's bond rating remains unchanged, though the Standard and Poor's agency has placed ISU on a credit watch.

That's in recognition of the state budget crisis and a lack of more than $80 million the university would regularly have received in the last two years if not for the deadlock between the governor and lawmakers.

Remembering The Holocaust

Apr 21, 2017
Moses Montefiore Temple

One long time resident of Normal said recent insensitive remarks by Presidential Press Secretary Sean Spicer highlight the importance of remembering the Holocaust.

Spicer implied Syrian military use of chemical weapons on civilians was worse than Nazi genocide, before retracting his remarks as they provoked negative reaction.

Vladimir Kulenovic

One of America's greatest classical music composers is George Gershwin.

The Illinois Symphony Orchestra plays an entire Gershwin concert Friday at  the BCPA in Bloomington.

Staff / WGLT

District 87 Schools are planning a fine arts addition to Bloomington High School.

This will allow construction of a new band room, renovation of the old band room into the new orchestra room, refresh the chorus room, and create a kind of fine arts annex, since the drama area and the auditorium are nearby.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

McLean County and state and federal elected leaders hope a bike trail will eventually extend from the northern border to the south end of McLean County.

On Wednesday they dedicated a new eight mile stretch of the Constitution Trail extending along Route 66 from Normal to Towanda. U.S. Representative Darin LaHood (R-Dunlap) said he is sponsoring a bill to make Route 66 a national historic trail.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Congressman Rodney Davis said he is not changing his policy of no Town Hall meetings for the faculty at Illinois Wesleyan University.

Faculty had offered to exclude media and give Davis questions ahead of time. The Taylorville Republican said during a stop in Towanda that the invitation was political.

Michael Hill / WGLT

There's debate on the McLean County Board over how much priority to give improvements at an east side intersection.

County Board members agreed on more discussion for the $1.6 million project at Towanda Barnes and Ireland Grove roads.

Staff

The final canvassing of ballots has taken place and incumbent Chris Koos has been re-elected as Mayor of Normal. Koos' margin increased by four votes as he won by an 11 vote final margin. Nearly three dozen mail-in and provisional ballots were counted Tuesday morning.

Koos edged challenger Marc Tiritilli 3,125 to 3114 votes.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

The changing nature of retail is affecting cities' ability to provide basic services. As an increasing number of people discover the convenience of online shopping, cities are losing essential sales tax revenue, something internet sellers don't pay.

Ron Frazier / Flickr

The Agriculture sector is among many U.S. interest groups carefully watching and weighing the young Trump administration in Washington. Candidate Trump staked out ground on the North American Free Trade Agreement that could harm Ag producers.

Illinois Farm Bureau Vice President David Erickson Erickson farms  3,400 acres in Knox and Henry Counties near Altona.

Unit 5 district offices
Staff / WGLT

The head of the Unit Five School District says he is pushing the panic button firmly about state aid payments. Speaking during GLT's Sound Ideas, Superintendent Mark Daniel said the district will run out of money about the end of the spring legislative session.

"We will not be able to have a balanced budget. So we will be in deficit spending: My great concern is if there is no state budget then how are they going to make payments in the future," said Daniel.

Matt Molinari / Flickr

Livingston County Prosecutors and law enforcement leaders want the state to boost early childhood block grant funding funding by $50 million. Sheriff Tony Childress said that will allow the state to capture more federal funds for preschool.

Childress was with the States's Attorney and another Sheriff reading books to three and four year olds at a Pontiac grade school.

Staff / WGLT

The McLean County Museum of History says a former Bloomington Mayor, a historic preservationist, civil rights activists, and a community volunteer are all history makers.

Staff / WGLT

Police in Bloomington say they apprehended someone in that shots fired incident last week at Market and Howard streets.

A 15-year old boy is now in the juvenile detention center.

Courtesty of Jeff Daniel

This week marked the centennial anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I. As what was once known as the Great War began to unfold three years earlier, a group of Bloomington Normal residents touring the continent had trouble leaving to get home. 

Louise Evans married a World War One Army Aviator from Bloomington. They later moved to Texas and she died in 1970. The occasional series McHistory is a co-production of GLT and the McLean County Museum of History. This episode included the voices of Librarian Bill Kemp and Development Assistant Amelia Hill.

We hear an account of being marooned in Switzerland as the misnamed War to End All Wars spread across Europe.

Destihl Brewery

Destihl Brewery will open its new $14 million facility in Normal May 27.

The 47,000 square foot brewery will also have a 6,300 square foot beer hall attached for tasting and with a limited a la carte menu.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The face of retail is changing drastically, but there is still a place for brick and mortar stores. That's according to Rob Karr, the head of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association.

Karr spoke in Normal before the Economic Development Council saying there are parallels with the past in the way technology is changing retail.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The number of mail in ballots received in the Town of Normal Mayor's race is up to eighteen, according to the McLean County Clerk's office.

13 came in the day after the election and another five on Thursday.

Staff / WGLT

Central Illinois Regional Airport leaders are still hoping to create new property taxes for rural McLean County property owners.

The idea first surfaced two years ago, when a federal budget sequester threatened to eliminate funds to operate the airport control tower.

Westminster Village

More senior citizens are ready to move into retirement communities than there is space for them to live in Bloomington-Normal.

That's according to Westminster Village CEO Barb Nathan, who said the driving force behind a $33 million expansion and renovation is the 300 people on their waiting list.

Baylee Steelman / WGLT

Thirteen mail in ballots for Town of Normal races have already arrived at the McLean County Clerk's office the day after the election out of a total of thirty four remaining requested mail in ballots.

Pages